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Want to Write a Best-Seller? Move to Minneapolis-St. Paul

Three of the current top non-fiction books in the U.S. are written by men who were born and/or raised in the Twin Cities: Tom Friedman, Al Franken, and our own Steve Levitt. My guess is that these were the only three guys who didn’t spend their entire childhoods playing hockey. The area’s most famous author is probably F. Scott Fitzgerald (whose full name, btw, was Frances Scott Key Fitzgerald, and was a distant relative of the composer of our national anthem). Fitzgerald is probably most commonly cited today as having written “There are no second acts in American lives,” which has by now been proven to be such a falsehood that, if I were running his estate, I would try to promote a new famous quote.

[Levitt adds this: F. Scott Fitzgerald attended the same high school that I went to: St. Paul Academy. He was expelled. I managed to graduate.]